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A Terrible Seat to Waste

Arkansas's Third Congressional District.

2:22 PM, May 23, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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There are interesting statewide primary races on the Republican side in California and Nevada and South Carolina on June 8. But conservatives shouldn’t neglect some of the congressional primaries and other races further down the ballot.

A Terrible Seat to Waste

For example, in AR-3 (the safe GOP Northwest Arkansas district John Boozman is vacating to run for the Senate), there’s a runoff between Rogers mayor Steve Womack, who won 31% of the vote in the eight-candidate first-round voting last week, and conservative activist Cecile Bledsoe, who ran second with 13%. Womack might appear to be the favorite, but his support seems to be mostly name-ID based, and if his record gets better known—supporting the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2006, refusing to rule out tax increases, opposing NAFTA, and advocating building gyms for senior citizens across America with federal pork—he should be vulnerable.

Bledsoe, by contrast, is a lifelong conservative activist who was among the legislators then-Governor Huckabee called "Shiites" for opposing his tax increases, and has the support of four of the six defeated primary candidates—her opponent Womack has the support of none.

AR-3 would be a terrible seat to waste on a less-than-solid conservative Republican. Conservatives around the nation may want to get involved and help out.

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